I’ve been busy working on my historical romance for Wild Deadwood Reads anthology. It’s a historical romance which takes place in wild Deadwood and I’m pretty excited to be able to share it next year. I think you historical romance lovers will like the storyline. And the best thing, it’s done!
So, next on the agenda is the final book of the Summers Sisters series. This book is all about the fun loving Riana. I am several chapters in right now and the story is coming along nicely. But, I’m really looking forward to writing Rowena’s Song, which is their mother’s story. I also have started a rough draft of my very first political thriller which does not yet have a title.
Sigh. I have so many ideas that will be forthcoming and I have the goal of releasing at least 5 books next year and possibly just as many novellas. Is anyone else looking forward to 2018?
As promised, I am going to share the next scene from Faith’s Hope. If you can’t wait to read the whole thing, watch for the full-length novella to be released in the upcoming weeks. If you can wait…here is the next scene…
The apartment was shaping up nicely as far as Faith was concerned. The heavy drapes in the living room had been replaced with lacy white sheers pulled back with ribbon. They would let in the sun except for today when the clouds had piled up to the west long before Faith got off work. Shades of grey, occasionally lit up from behind, flashed with lightning. The talk in the coffee shop suggested the storm was building steam as it crossed over Texas and headed their way. Even though the apartment was air-conditioned, her walk home had been a stifling and steamy six blocks so she reached for the switch that sent the ceiling fan whirring air throughout the living room.
The pretty floral sofa invited her to relax with the heaps of throw pillows she found at the neighborhood thrift store for barely nothing, and she thought about laying down for a few minutes. A convention in town had kept her busy, and her feet ached almost as bad as they had the first week at the coffee shop, but pushed herself to take a quick walk through the market and picked up fresh fruit and vegetables. Then she stopped at a yard sale to purchase a bag of paperback books which all needed to be put away. Little by little her tips had purchased little items to add her own personal touches to the apartment.
She walked through the bedroom into the small kitchen at the back and started stowing the produce in the noisy old refrigerator. Her appetite had gradually begun to return to normal, and she heard it rumble a bit as she thought about the chicken breast that was marinating in a bowl on the top shelf of the refrigerator. She glanced at the calendar on the wall by the back door. It was hard to believe that she had already been here for almost a month. The open shelf above the stove held a variety of spices and a ceramic pot where she kept the new set of cooking utensils purchased from the local dollar store. A pair of plain iron sconces had already been hanging on the wall above the small bistro table and chairs, but the hurricane globes and candles were her own addition. A bouquet of fresh cut flowers nestled in a terra cotta bowl in the center of the table. The hooked seat pads on the chairs matched the hooked rug in front of the sink. The single window in the room was bare except for a macramé hanger, which held a potted vine rescued from a discard pile behind a floral shop that shared the same alley as the coffee shop. A little bit of plant food and water and it was already boasting a brand new growth of leaves.
Her bathroom was hidden behind a narrow door next to the sink, and she stepped inside to put the shampoo and body wash on the little stand next to the antique claw foot tub. From above the stand, a collection of Mardi Gras masks grinned down at her. All of them pieces she discovered at the thrift store along with the secondhand bath set she’d dyed in a bright fuchsia color that almost matched the cheap set of towels from the big box store by the interstate.
Thunder rumbled in the distance, and someone knocked on the back door. She greeted Frankie as she let herself inside with her key. She looked frazzled with cobwebs in her bright hair and a streak of dirt across her face. “Lord have mercy that sure is a scary looking storm coming our way.” Her tiny body was clad in a pair of bright yellow Bermuda shorts and a Hawaiian print shirt, and she had a pair of garden gloves tucked into her waistband. “I was puttering about in the garage and found that old patio set that I haven’t used in years so I pulled it out and put it by your back steps to go along with that little grill you brought home.”
“Come in and sit down for a minute and have a glass of sweet tea with me.” Faith pulled the pitcher out of the refrigerator. She motioned toward the table and chairs. “Go on, sit down.” She worried about the older woman puttering about in the garage out back. Not only did the structure look like it was ready to collapse but it was also stacked full of junk in every space that Frankie’s old Cadillac didn’t occupy. It was an accident waiting to happen, and Faith had become quite fond of Frankie over the last few weeks.
She put the two glasses on the table and sat down across from Frankie. “You should have waited for me to get home before you went digging around in the garage and moving lawn furniture.” Faith smiled as the woman brushed a cobweb out of her hair. “Seriously, couldn’t it have waited until I got here?”
“Little girl, I’ve been doing things on my own for a great many years before you came along. Don’t go thinking you can get me to stop now. I’m too damned stubborn.”
“I never said you had to stop.” Faith chuckled softly. “I just said you could have waited until I got home so that if you fell or something fell on you, there would be someone here to call the rescue squad.”
“Those rescue squad boys are nice specimens of muscled glory.” Frankie lifted a penciled eyebrow. “Maybe I should have a little accident so that you could call them over and we could both get our eyes full. What do you say little girl?”
Faith shook her head. “You’re too eager.” In an attempt to change the subject, she got up and pulled the bowl of marinated chicken from the refrigerator. “Do you want to eat dinner with me? I have enough here for both of us.”
“No thank you. I have a gentleman friend coming to take me to Arnaud’s for dinner and cocktails.” She gave an exaggerated wink. “I’d have to poke him full of Cialis for it to be much more than dinner and drinks.”
Frankie was impossible. The older woman alternated between acting like a proper southern belle and a dirty old lady. Faith still hadn’t asked, but she would guess that she had at least seen the end of the Second World War. She did know that she had come to New Orleans to get away from an overbearing mother and overprotective father, purchasing this little shotgun double with money from her trust fund when she turned old enough to access it. What Frankie had done in the meantime was a mystery Faith wasn’t sure she wanted to solve.
Frankie drained the glass and stood up, using the edge of the table as leverage and winced a bit. Faith didn’t comment because she knew that no matter what she said, the older woman wouldn’t slow down or take it easy. The thunder sounded as if it was getting closer to them, and Faith could have almost sworn that the last clap of thunder shook the whole city.
“Better get your candles and matches out. Storms like the one coming usually bring power outages, and this creaky old house can be a bit overwhelming if you’re a suspicious person.” The soles of her sneakers squeaked against the worn black and white checkered linoleum as she sashayed toward the back door. She glanced back at Faith as she turned the knob to let herself out. “Don’t fret too much. Only the living can hurt a person.” And she slipped quietly out the back door as Faith stared at her retreating back.